Academic psychiatry - extinction or adaptation to a changing world: A view from clinical psychology
Lewis, A.J. and Jorm, A.F. (2015) Academic psychiatry - extinction or adaptation to a changing world: A view from clinical psychology. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49 (2). pp. 99-101.
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Henderson et al.’s Editorial contends that academic psychiatrists are now an endangered species, with potential impacts on undergraduate teaching, postgraduate training, research capacity and academic advice on health policy (Henderson et al., 2014). The Editorial identifies contributing factors, which include barriers to recruitment of trainee psychiatrists to academic careers due to demographic, financial and lifestyle factors, psychiatry’s ‘image problem’ within medicine (Lyons, 2013), the need for mentorship and the lack of career options offered by existing research fellowships. The Editorial predicts that, should the situation continue, psychiatrists will find their role in research replaced by ‘highly trained researchers from other professions’ and it urges far-reaching changes to avoid a looming extinction.
The situation in academic psychiatry is very different from that in clinical psychology, where demand for postgraduate training places far outstrips supply, students are fully engaged with research as part of their training, and there is no shortage of aspiring clinical academics. In this commentary, we consider why the situation has evolved so differently for the two professions and what lessons might be learned for the survival of academic psychiatry...
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